YOSEMITE – Cal FIre confirms that an S-2T air tanker earlier reported out of contact crashed near the location of the Dog Rock Fire, burning on the west side of Yosemite National Park, as the aircraft was responding to the fire.
“Rescue personnel are at the scene working their way through extremely difficult terrain to determine the condition of our pilot,” Cal Fire reports. “Additional information will be made available as it is confirmed.” Authorities had earlier reported that contact with the plane had been lost.
The Dog Rock Fire is burning on the west side of Yosemite National Park, and has closed Highway 140 at the park entrance and forced the evacuation of the community of Foresta.
The fire was reported at 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7, and most recent estimates put it at 130 acres.
Highway 140 is temporarily closed to all through traffic from the park line near Yosemite View Lodge from the west and at the 120/140 junction from the east.
The community of Foresta, consisting of approximately 60 homes, was evacuated for safety reasons. No structures have been affected at this time.
The fire is under the management of the National Park Service, and resources from the Sierra and the Stanislaus National Forests are being requested.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. We will update as more information becomes available.